Cover image for Brainquake
Title:
Brainquake
Author:
Fuller, Samuel, 1912-1997, author.
Publication Information:
London : Titan Books, 2014.
Physical Description:
320 pages ; 20 cm
Summary:
The bagmen who transport money for organized crime live by a set of rules: no personal relationships, no ties, no women and never, ever look inside the bag you're carrying. Paul Page was the perfect bagman, despite suffering from a rare brain disorder. But that ended the day he saw a beautiful Mob wife become a Mob widow. Now Paul is going to break every rule he's lived by'even if it means he might be left holding the bag.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781781168196
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

The bagmen who transport money for organized crime live by a set of rules: no personal relationships, no ties, no women...and never, ever look inside the bag you're carrying. Paul Page was the perfect bagman, despite suffering from a rare brain disorder. But that ended the day he saw a beautiful Mob wife become a Mob widow. Now Paul is going to break every rule he's lived by-even if it means he might be left holding the bag.


Author Notes

Crime reporter, freelance journalist, pulp novelist, screenwriter, World War II infantryman--Samuel Fuller (August 12, 1912 - October 30, 1997) was a jack of all trades before the high-school dropout directed his first film at age thirty-six. But once he was contacted by Poverty Row producer Robert L. Lippert, a fan of his writing, Fuller was turned on to cinema--his true calling. A singularly audacious visionary of the B-movie variety, Fuller would make muscular, minuscule pictures, starting with the one-two-three punch of I Shot Jesse James, The Baron of Arizona, and The Steel Helmet--the last a raw Korean War saga that was one of the few films of the period to address racism in America. Soon after, Fuller was scooped up by Twentieth Century Fox, but he was able to maintain his purposefully crude, elegantly stripped-down style and teeth-bared cynicism for such studio efforts as Fixed Bayonets! and Pickup on South Street. Eventually, Fuller returned to independent filmmaking, and in the sixties (after his artistic cred had been given a shot in the arm by the French New Wavers' embrace of him as a major stylistic influence), he directed two of his most acclaimed titles, the pulpy and profound Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss, both corrosive satires of American culture. Even in his career's twilight, Fuller didn't shy away from controversy: his early eighties social horror film White Dog was shelved by the studio for more than a decade due to its provocative, bloody investigation of American racism.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Fuller, the legendary film director whose fascinating oeuvre includes the noir classic Pickup on South Street (1953), wrote this novel toward the end of his life, during a self-imposed exile in France. Published as Cerebro-choc in 1993, it hasn't appeared in its original English until now. Paul Page is a bagman who battles pirates as he moves huge sums of money around New York City. He lives as an ascetic but has two secrets that could cost him his job and his life: he's in love, and he suffers from seizures he calls brainquakes. Events erupt, and he finds himself running for his life with the girl and a huge sum of cash. They escape to France but is his lover playing him for a sucker? The bravura opening is a knockout, and Fuller's Mob-bossed New York is entertaining, but once the action moves overseas, the story bogs down until its hail-of-bullets ending. At a shorter length, this would have been a wonderfully wild ride. Still, it has its moments, and Fuller fans will find it hard to resist.--Graff, Keir Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

First published in French in 1993, this so-called "lost" novel from director Fuller (1912-1997) is, like his work for the big screen, rough around the edges and blunt as a head butt. In a plot that echoes that of Fuller's best-known film, Pickup on South Street, Paul Page suffers "brainquakes"-seizures during which he responds violently to horrifying visions. Paul is working as a bagman for the mob in New York City, making money drops, when he falls in love with Michelle Troy, a gangster's widow. Believing Michelle's life to be in danger, Paul flees to Paris with her and $10 million of mob money. In hot pursuit is a mob assassin who dresses as a priest and crucifies his victims. The writing is pulpy and the violence brutal, but Fuller explodes a few surprises to keep the plot unpredictable, and his mordant asides on crime and corruption elevate this tale above much standard genre fare. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Paul Page is a bagman, a delivery courier for organized criminals, with an unmemorable face and a knack for disappearing in a crowd. He never missed a drop, never failed to make a delivery-until he fell in love with a dangerous woman. When Paul and a mob widow go on the run with millions in stolen cash, they aren't just running from the cops or the tireless hit man who dresses like a priest and crucifies his targets. They're also trying to stay ahead of Paul's "brainquakes," debilitating head pains that cause him to do violent things. This novel by Fuller (1912-97), the influential director of such classic and controversial films as The Big Red One, Shock Corridor, and White Dog, is published for the first time in English (it was first released in French in 1993) and is a real throwback of a crime novel, full of violence and colorful dialog. The only knock on what is an otherwise exciting and unpredictable story is that while some characters like Paul and the hit man are wonderfully originally drawn, others come off as stock wise guys or femmes fatales. But this can be forgiven as part of the genre's charm. -VERDICT Recommended for fans of the more visceral pulp and hard-boiled fiction, like Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me.-Peter Petruski, Cumberland Cty. Lib. Syst., Carlisle, PA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.